Dolly and Doja: Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza musical, explained


Dolly Parton — country legend, ace songwriter, “9 to 5″ star and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee — says she’s working on a new musical: an ode to Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza.

Yes, another Mexican Pizza song. And, no, we’re not exactly sure why.

Coming on the heels of Doja Cat’s half-baked attempt at a Mexican Pizza jingle, the country queen has joined forces with the “Need to Know” rapper and a number of TikTok stars for “Mexican Pizza: The Musical” to salute the crunchy, cheesy snack that they apparently love so much. Parton even posted an image of the project’s script Monday on social media.

It’s just the latest chapter in the messy saga of the fast-food item’s comeback.

“Parton joins Taco Bell’s biggest fans for a satirical musical about the ‘harrowing’ story of those who fought to bring back the Mexican Pizza, featuring notable moments from Doja Cat’s triumphant journey,” Taco Bell said Monday in a statement.

In fact, the script’s log line says: “Based on the true story of the Internet losing its mind.”

And “lost it” it did. After weeks of urging the Irvine, Calif.-based fast-food chain to put the discontinued item back on its menu, Doja Cat championed the Mexican Pizza’s return online and at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

The “Kiss Me More” Grammy winner also shared her love of the snack on TikTok and penned a “contractual” jingle that was lampooned online. It didn’t matter though because Taco Bell said that the Mexican Pizza — which by most accounts is neither Mexican nor pizza — is coming back on May 19. (It’ll be available May 17 for Taco Bell Rewards members.)

A faux Playbill picturing a hand holding a Mexican Pizza box

A faux Playbill for Taco Bell’s parody “Mexican Pizza: The Musical,” which will feature Dolly Parton, Doja Cat and TikTok star Victor Kunda.

(Taco Bell)

And the company’s marketing team is putting in the work to make it a spicy celebration. They’ve managed to unite heavyweights in music, television and social media to fete the fast-food snack, which consists of layers of seasoned beef, refried beans, pizza sauce, cheese and diced tomatoes piled on flat, crispy flour shells.

After 35 years on the Taco Bell menu, the Mexican Pizza was discontinued in November 2020 when the company removed several products to streamline its offerings. However, a petition launched promptly after that to encourage Taco Bell to bring it back. It amassed almost 200,000 signatures before the fast-food chain announced the culinary concoction’s comeback last month.

Last week, Doja Cat hinted on Twitter that she was trying to use her #tacobellpartner powers for a collab with TikTok creator Victor Kunda, who went viral by posting his vision of what a Mexican Pizza musical rehearsal could look like. Apparently fans on Twitter asked for the musical after that, and Taco Bell listened.

Parton announced that she’s indeed a Taco Bell ad partner on Monday by touting the project’s script, aptly titled “Mexican Pizza: The Musical.” Parton and Doja Cat make guest appearances in the forthcoming production, Taco Bell said, and Kunda somehow gets top billing. Yes, over multiple Grammy Award winners.

The musical is written by “Obi-Wan Kenobi” screenwriter Hannah Friedman and Grammy-winning TikTokers Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, of the internet’s unofficial “Bridgerton” musical parody. Barlow and Bear also shared a highly produced snippet from Taco Bell’s commercial musical — complete with a faux playbill — Monday, boasting lyrics such as: “You took a slice right out of my heart / Perfect creation right from the start.”

“You think we’re kidding?” Barlow said Monday on TikTok after sharing the clip. “You think this is a big old gag Barlow and Bear are pulling? No. We are in New York City to film and record the Mexican Pizza musical. We sat down and composed a musical for Mexican Pizza, and every song is a banger, if I do say so myself.”

Doja, who partnered with Taco Bell in February for the company’s Super Bowl LVI commercial, has not publicly commented on Monday’s development, but she did post another silly TikTok of herself being worked on in a hair and makeup chair. Perhaps a look for the musical?

“Mexican Pizza: The Musical” debuts on TikTok on May 26.

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